Mid-November and we are FINALLY seeing snow here in Utah! It's time to start pulling out boots and scarves, lighting the fire place, drinking hot cocoa, turning up the Christmas tunes (unless you're a Scrooge), and prepping your home for the freezing temps to come. This can feel overwhelming for some, so we'll stick to the basic necessities to keep things simple and completely doable.
1. remove hoses from outdoor spigots
This is way too often overlooked! It's such a small task, but neglecting to store your hoses during the winter can result in thousands of dollars-worth of damage. When the hose is connected to your house, it makes it impossible for the spigot to drain completely. The water can build up and freeze, causing the pipes to burst. This IS as bad as you imagine! Burst pipes, flooded house, horrible Christmas!
2. Clean out gutters
The fall is AMAZING, and how fun is it to play in the colorful crunchy leaves? Well, those same leaves collect in your gutters and cause things to clog. When precipitation can't reach the downspout, moisture can get up under the shingles and - you guessed it - cause a lot of EXPENSIVE damage. Spend a Saturday afternoon clearing the gutters, check for clogs in the downspout, and maybe while you're up there you can add a few strings of Christmas lights!
*While cleaning out your gutters, double check for damage/cracks where water might leak through.
3. furnace maintenance
You do NOT want to be stuck in a Utah winter with a broken furnace. It isn't uncommon for people to be snowed in for days at a time, and as cozy as the fireplace might seem I bet you'd miss your working furnace real quick. Hire a certified HVAC professional to do a routine inspection/maintenance yearly. I promise, it's worth the $70 - $150!
4. Re-caulk around windows and doors
This one might take some time, but totally worth it to keep the cold out of your house and your utility bills down. Cold air sneaks in through even the smallest of cracks. You can hire a professional, or DIY this one - just make sure you're thorough!
5.inspect your fireplace
This isn't for every home, but it was way too important not to make our list of essentials! If you have a vented fireplace, the chimney needs to be cleaned and inspected for leaks before the season starts. And homes with ventless fireplaces are not off the hook, these need to be maintained too!
Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by the idea of winter prep! Every small thing helps the cause. Lists like these can go on for days - you can really never be too safe - but don't miss these 5 tasks before we see a Utah winter in full-force. Then you'll have the peace of mind to enjoy snowball fights, snow men, snow angels, and ice skating all season long.